The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond today released its 2012 Annual Report, which features the essay, "Land of Opportunity? Economic Mobility in the United States."
The essay suggests that economic mobility has decreased in recent years, particularly for people born at the top and bottom of the income distribution. Many factors contribute to the retention and attainment of economic status. But for nearly everyone, advancement depends on opportunities to obtain cognitive and noncognitive skills, and those opportunities are not as good for children born to poor families. Initiatives that focus on early childhood education seem to yield high returns on investment, although their feasibility on a large scale is unknown. Nonetheless, these efforts may have the potential to help the United States achieve a more inclusive prosperity.
In addition to the essay and the Bank's financial statements, the annual report includes a summary of the region's economic performance in 2012 and an overview of how the Bank's regional information and analysis inform monetary policy.
The 2012 Annual Report is available on the Bank's website.
The Richmond Fed serves the Fifth Federal Reserve District, which includes the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and most of West Virginia. As part of the nation's central bank, we're one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that work together with the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors to strengthen the economy and our communities. We manage the nation's money supply to keep inflation low and help the economy grow. We also supervise and regulate financial institutions to help safeguard our nation's financial system and protect the integrity and efficiency of our payments system.